Andalsnes & Molde

In these two places we only had a few hours each, because we visited both on the same day.

RK5_0615

The three hours in Andalsnes were really sporty. My family was desperate to climb the Nesaksla. This is the local mountain of the village, to which a steep path leads up. The way was quite good, we had to overcome only just 650 meters in height. Since my legs are considerably shorter than those of my humans, I was allowed to sit in my travel bag and my human dad carried me.

RK5_0621

The view from the top definitely compensated us for our efforts. Unfortunately we could not stay there for very long as we had to return to our ship.

RK5_0631RK5_0633RK5_0626

In the afternoon Molde was on the program. Originally we had planned to climb a mountain here as well. After the morning’s mountain sprint, however, this part of the program was cancelled by my people. I could still have, in my travel bag.

RK5_0640

So we went straight to the Romsdall Museum. Here you can get an impression of rural life in Norway in the 19th century. As a gourmet bear, the bakery was of course the most interesting house for me, but directly followed by the family house. The family house only consists of one room, with an open fireplace in the middle, over which millet porridge was boiling. On one side of the room there was a large, roughly hewn table across the entire width at which the family members ate in former times. Here family means about 20-30 persons, who lived together in this one room during winter, which lasted regularly at least six months and sometimes even longer.

RK5_0658RK5_0646RK5_0659

For sleeping, sitting, drinking and anything else you could do on long winter days, there was a wide wooden bench along the remaining three walls of the house, which was covered with many furs. And when the winter was particularly intense and you did not want to go outside, then a small pit was dug in a corner as a latrine.

According to the tourist guide, you could smell such a house from a great distance, which I can well understand. But it was also cozy and reminded me of a bear cave.

Your very ferocious Grizzly

RK5_0619-HDR

Advertisements

Andalsnes & Molde

In diesen beiden Orten hatten wir leider nur jeweils ein paar Stunden Zeit, da wir beide am gleichen Tag besucht haben.

RK5_0615

Die drei Stunden in Andalsnes wurde es sportlich. Meine Menschen wollten unbedingt den Nesaksla besteigen. Das ist der Hausberg des Ortes, auf welchen ein Aufstiegsweg hinauf führt. Der Weg war auch ziemlich gut, wir mussten nur eben 650 Höhenmeter überwinden. Da meine Beine doch erheblich kürzer sind als die meiner Menschen, durfte ich in meiner Reisetasche sitzen und mein Menschenpapa hat mich getragen.

RK5_0621

Der Blick von oben hat uns für die Anstrengungen auf jeden Fall entschädigt. Leider konnten wir nicht sehr lange dort verharren, da wir ja wieder zu unserem Schiff zurück mussten.

RK5_0631RK5_0633RK5_0626

Am Nachmittag stand Molde auf dem Programm. Ursprünglich hatten wir geplant, auch hier einen Berg zu besteigen. Nach dem Bergsprint vom Vormittag wurde dieser Programmpunkt von meinen Menschen aber gestrichen. Ich hätte ja noch gekonnt, in meiner Reisetasche.

RK5_0640

Also ging es direkt in das Romsdal Museum. Hier kann man sich einen Eindruck vom ländlichen Leben in Norwegen im 19. Jahrhundert verschaffen. Als Feinschmeckerbär war für mich natürlich die Backstube am interessantesten. Allerdings gleich gefolgt vom Familienhaus. Das besteht nur aus einem Raum, mit offener Feuerstelle in der Mitte, über welcher Hirsebrei kochte. An einer Seite des Raumes gab es über die ganze Breite einen großen, grob behauenen Tisch, an dem zu altvorderen Zeiten die Familienmitglieder gegessen haben. Familie meint hier etwa 20 – 30 Personen, die zur Winterzeit, die regelmäßig sechs Monate oder manchmal auch länger andauerte, in diesem einen Raum zusammenlebten.

RK5_0658RK5_0646RK5_0659

Für’s Schlafen, Sitzen, Trinken und alles, was man sonst noch so an langen Wintertagen tun kann, gab es an den verbleibenden drei Wänden des Hauses entlang eine breite Holzbank, welche mit vielen Fellen belegt war. Und wenn der Winter es besonders intensiv getrieben hat und man nicht vor die Tür gehen wollte, dann wurde in einer Ecke auch noch eine kleine Grube als Latrine ausgehoben.

Laut dem Touristenguide konnte man ein solches Haus bereits aus größerer Entfernung riechen, was ich gut verstehen kann. Gemütlich war es aber eben auch und hat mich an eine Bärenhöhle erinnert.

Euer ganz gefährlicher Grizzly

RK5_0619-HDR

Alesund

Everyone who comes to Alesund will hear the story of the city fire in 1904, including myself.

RK5_0581

City fires used to be a recurring event in Norwegian cities. The houses were all built in the typical Norwegian style, made of wood. Often a single fire was enough to burn down an entire city. However, as this was in some ways the normality, the inventive Norwegians were quite prepared for this by producing prefabricated houses on stock throughout the country.

RK5_0608

Where there was enough timber, there were always carpenters who built houses from it. These were assembled on site, then dismantled and either sold immediately to the cities or stored. When there had been another major fire, the craftsmen were on the spot quickly and brought with them their finished houses and after just a few months a town could be built up again.

After the city fire in Alesund, however, stone houses were built to prevent future large fires. But of course the whole thing also had to be paid for. This is where the German Emperor Wilhelm II. comes in. He spent a lot of time in Norway and was quite fond of the country and its people, so after the fire he did not let himself be lumpen, but donated a large sum for the reconstruction of Alesund. With this money the city center was rebuilt in the style of the time. This architectural style was Art Nouveau. That is why Alesund today boasts a complete urban architecture in Art Nouveau style.

RK5_0602

The houses from 100 years ago already look beautiful. Above all, the people of Alesund knew how to avoid architectural disasters so that today Alesund presents a very successful mixture of old and new.

RK5_0601RK5_0607

The visit was also a bit sporty for me. I went to the Aksla, the local mountain of Alesund. From above we could admire the many islands around the city. There I understood why ships are the main means of transport here.

RK5_0586RK5_0591

On the way up we were also awaited by a forefather of many important European ruling dynasties. Rollo, the ancestor of the Normans, they have set a monument at the entrance to the mountain. According to legend, he is said to have started from here for a raid in the Kingdom of the Franks.  However, he was not very successful in his endeavor and in 911 he was on the brink of complete defeat. His way out of this disaster? He let himself be baptized and as a good Christian, he received a small fief in the city of Rouen from the king. This was the founding of Normandy and thus also one of the most important European ruling dynasties. Only 150 years later, the sixth successor of Rollo, William the Conqueror, conquered England and put the royal crown on his head. Since then, there has been no further successful invasion of the British Isles. In the end, they were quite successful, these Northmen.

RK5_0593

I was particularly surprised in Alesund how clean the water in the harbour was. I could see to the bottom of the harbour basin. It is obviously possible to bring shipping and the environment together. We bears are very much in favour!

Your very ferocious Grizzly

Alesund

Jeder der nach Alesund kommt, bekommt die Geschichte vom Stadtbrand im Jahr 1904 zu hören, also auch ich.

RK5_0581

Stadtbrände waren früher ein durchaus öfter wiederkehrendes Ereignis in norwegischen Städten. Die Häuser waren alle in dem typisch norwegischen Stil aus Holz gebaut. Oft genügte ein einzelnes Feuer, um eine ganze Stadt abbrennen zu lassen. Da dies jedoch in gewisser Weise Normalität war, waren die erfinderischen Norweger durchaus darauf vorbereitet, indem sie im ganzen Land Fertighäuser auf Vorrat herstellten.

RK5_0608

Dort, wo es genügend Bauholz gab, gab es immer auch Zimmerleute, die Häuser daraus errichteten. Diese wurden vor Ort fertig aufgebaut, anschließend wieder demontiert und entweder sofort in die Städte verkauft oder eben eingelagert. Wenn es dann wieder mal einen größeren Brand gegeben hatte, waren die Handwerker schnell mit ihren fertigen Häusern zur Stelle und bereits nach wenigen Monaten konnte eine Stadt wieder neu errichtet werden.

Nach dem Stadtbrand in Alesund wurden allerdings Steinhäuser errichtet, da man damit zukünftige Großfeuer verhindern wollte. Bezahlt werden musste das Ganze aber natürlich auch. Und hier kommt der deutsche Kaiser Wilhelm II. ins Spiel. Er verbrachte viel Zeit in Norwegen und war ziemlich vernarrt in Land und Leute. Also ließ er sich nach dem Brand nicht lumpen, sondern spendete eine große Summe für den Wiederaufbau von Alesund. Mit diesem Geld wurde die Innenstadt im Stil der Zeit wieder aufgebaut. Dieser Architekturstil war der Jugendstil. Deshalb rühmt sich Alesund heute, eine komplette Stadtarchitektur im Jugendstil zu haben.

RK5_0602

Schön sehen sie schon aus, die Häuser von vor 100 Jahren. Vor allem haben es die Alesunder verstanden, auch daneben keine architektonischen Katastrophen hinzustellen. So präsentiert Alesund heute eine sehr gelungene Mischung aus alt und neu.

RK5_0601RK5_0607

Etwas sportlich wurde der Besuch für mich auch, es ging auf den Aksla, den Hausberg von Alesund. Von oben konnten wir die vielen Inseln rund um die Stadt bewundern. Da habe ich dann auch verstanden, warum Schiffe hier ein Hauptverkehrsmittel sind.

RK5_0586RK5_0591

Am Weg nach oben erwartete uns auch noch ein Urahn vieler bedeutender europäischer Herrscherhäuser. Rollo, dem Stammvater der Normannen, haben sie am Aufgang zum Berg ein Denkmal gesetzt. Der Überlieferung nach soll er von hier aus zu einem Raubzug  in das Reich der Franken aufgebrochen sein.  Mit seinem Unterfangen war er jedoch nicht sehr erfolgreich und im Jahre 911 stand er kurz vor der vollständigen Niederlage. Sein Ausweg daraus? Er ließ sich taufen und erhielt vom König ein kleines Lehen bei der Stadt Rouen. Dies war die Keimzelle der Normandie und damit auch eines der bedeutendsten europäischen Herrscherhäuser. Lediglich 150 Jahre später eroberte der sechste Nachfolger von Rollo, Wilhelm den Eroberer, England und setzte sich die Königskrone aufs Haupt. Seitdem gab es keine weitere erfolgreiche Invasion der britischen Insel. Schlussendlich waren sie also doch ganz schön erfolgreich, diese Nordmänner.

RK5_0593

Besonders überrascht hat mich in Alesund noch, wie sauber das Wasser im Hafen war. Ich konnte bis auf den Grund des Hafenbeckens schauen. Es geht eben offensichtlich doch, Schifffahrt und Umwelt zusammen zu bringen. Wir Bären sind sehr dafür!

Euer ganz gefährlicher Grizzly

Eidfjord

What a stress! I have just got back from India and off I go on my next journey. My family is on a holiday trip and as a sophisticated bear I have to go with them, of course. Our destinations were the fjords of Norway. How we got there, you can already imagine. We were back on a cruise ship. This time, however, not with „my“ ship but with the Ethiopian princess, as my human dad named it. A week of cruising and landscape watching on the AIDAbella, great!

On our way to the cost we had a stop in the old hanseatic city of Lübeck to let some coastal flair blow around our noses.

Our cruise started in Kiel and the first port in Norway was Eidfjord. The small village lies in the last corner of the fjord of the same name, the continuation of the big Hardangerfjord. There one is in the middle of Norway, over 100 km away from the coast. But the big ship can go directly there, because the fjords are all very deep. I can tell you, I was really impressed, how we drove between the steep rock walls on our right and left.

Eidfjord itself is a typical small Norwegian village, whose inhabitants used to live from fishing and animal husbandry. In Viking times, however, the municipality of Eidjord also had to provide a fully equipped and manned warboat. However, people have been living here for much longer. If you want to do a short hike, you will pass stone tombs from around 400-550 on the local mountain of Eidfjord, the Haereidterasse. Small versions of works of art mad of stone can be admired along the hiking trails. Norwegians or we as tourists too, like to build whole groups of little cairns. Of course, I tried my hand as a builder.

After the hike we visited the old church of Eidfjord. On the way back to the village I also had to warn a chicken family about the fox.  He sneaked around, look at him!

RK5_0533

In the afternoon I almost disappeared in Norway. We visited Voringsfossen, one of the most famous waterfalls in Norway.

As a very dangerous grizzly bear I am of course not afraid of heights and walked a bit on the rocks above the waterfall. Who would have thought that bear could slip on it? Anyway, I was suddenly in the creek. Fortunately, my human dad pulled me out very quickly before I would have fallen into the waterfall. So I only got a fright and a wet snout.

Your very ferocious Grizzly

 

Eidfjord

Welch ein Stress! Da bin ich eben erst aus Indien zurück und schon geht es auf die nächste Reise. Meine Menschen machen Urlaub und da muss ich als weltgewandter Bär natürlich mit. Unser Ziel waren die Fjorde Norwegens. Wie wir dahin gekommen sind, könnt ihr euch sicherlich schon denken. Wir waren wieder auf Kreuzfahrt. Diesmal allerdings nicht mit „meinem“ Schiff, sondern mit der äthiopischen Prinzessin, wie mein Menschenpapa schmunzelnd meinte. Eine Woche Kreuzfahrt und Landschaft gucken mit AIDAbella, toll!

Auf der Anreise haben wir noch einen Zwischenstopp in der alten Hansestadt Lübeck eingelegt, um uns schon einmal etwas Küstenflair um die Nase wehen zu lassen.

Los ging unsere Kreuzfahrt in Kiel und der erste Hafen in Norwegen war Eidfjord. Der kleine Ort liegt am letzten Zipfel des gleichnamigen Fjords, der Fortsetzung des großen Hardangerfjords. Man ist da mitten in Norwegen, über 100 km von der Küste entfernt. Das große Schiff kann aber eben doch direkt dahin fahren, da die Fjorde alle sehr tief sind. Ich kann euch sagen, da war ich schon schwer beeindruckt, wie wir durch die steilen Felswände rechts und links gefahren sind.

Eidfjord selbst ist ein typisches kleines norwegisches Dorf, dessen Bewohner in früheren Zeiten vom Fischfang und der Tierzucht gelebt haben. Zu den kämpferischen Zeiten der Wikinger musste die Gemeinde Eidjord allerdings auch ein komplett ausgestattetes und bemanntes Kriegsboot stellen. Menschen siedeln hier allerdings schon viel länger. Wer eine kleine Wanderung machen möchte, den führt der Weg auf den Hausberg von Eidfjord zur Haereidterasse mit Steingräbern aus der Zeit um 400-550. Kleinere Ausführungen von Steinkunstwerken gibt es immer an den Wanderwegen entlang zu bestaunen. Norweger oder auch wir als Touristen errichten gern ganze Gruppen kleiner Steinmännchen. Da habe ich mich natürlich auch als Baumeister versucht.

Nach der Wanderung haben wir noch die alte Kirche von Eidfjord besucht. Auf dem Weg zurück in den Ort musste ich außerdem noch eine Hühnerfamilie vor dem Fuchs warnen.  Der schlich sich heimlich an, schaut doch mal!

RK5_0533

Am Nachmittag wäre ich dann beinahe in Norwegen verschollen. Wir haben den Voringsfossen besucht, einen der berühmtesten Wasserfälle in ganz Norwegen.

Als ganz gefährlicher Grizzlybär habe ich natürlich keine Höhenangst und bin etwas auf den Steinen vor dem Wasserfall herumgestiegen. Wer hätte gedacht, dass Bär darauf ausrutschen kann! Ich lag jedenfalls plötzlich im Bach. Glücklicherweise hat mich mein Menschenpapa ganz schnell wieder herausgezogen, bevor ich in den Wasserfall gestürzt wäre. So bekam ich nur einen Schreck und eine nasse Schnauze.

Euer ganz gefährlicher Grizzly

India

Hello, I am back. Yeah, I know, I was gone for a while, and I am sure you guys were wondering why.

I was in India, more precisely in Bangalore, the IT city of the country. My human dad was there on a business trip for two weeks and I was allowed to accompany him.

RK5_0365

If you are looking forward to pictures of elephants, tigers and co. at this point, I have to disappoint you. I met elephants, but not in the wilderness. We always were on the road in cities. Also with the photos this time it is a special thing. Some were taken only with a smartphone. My human dad just could not take the camera everywhere. However, I hope that you can still enjoy my little story.

India – What ideas would you associate with this country? Yeah, sure, we already had the elephants. And otherwise? Maharajah palaces, Hindu temples, traditional clothes, street vendors, heat, monsoon? This is all right, but it is quite different than what one would usually think of.

20180610_114010

What struck me immediately after arrival on the airport: It is always loud and everywhere there are a lot of people. Considering that Bangalore has about 12 million residents, this is not surprising. The city is just huge and everybody seems to want to go somewhere all the time. All kinds of things are happening on the streets. For me as a resident of a small village in the Ore Mountains this is an inextricable chaos, but it still works somehow.

20180607_084337

Yeah, it always takes a lot of time to get from one place to another. The most amazing thing about all this traffic, however, is that there are virtually no accidents. Even the smallest gap is closed by cars, scooters or three-wheeled taxis. In between, of course, the pedestrians are still meandering and now and then there is also a cyclist too. However, Indians seem to have a seventh sense, which allows them to avoid collisions even in the greatest tangle. The fact, that in this concept the horn plays the main role, cannot be overheard. It is constantly honked: When you want to overtake, when you are actually overtaking, when someone is in your way, to tell the others that you want to go in a certain direction and when you want to make pedestrians go off the road.

Monday to Friday, my human dad was busy most of the time, so that I had not seen many other things than the hotel room and the office. Fortunately we were in Bangalore for two weeks and so there was a weekend in between, for which of course excursions had to be organized. In the end we decided to visit the old royal city of Mysore on Saturday and take a trip through Bangalore on Sunday.

On Saturday we got up at 5am to take the taxi to Mysore. It is only 130 km away, but 130 km in India take way longer as you may guess.

RK5_0280

Our first destination was the Someswara Temple. This is one of the oldest Hindu temples in the region. Its first segments were built over 700 years ago. This meant shoes off and then we entered. Surprisingly, there was hardly anyone there. What happened? Usually there is no place here where people do not accumulate. Now we could take a few more photos of bears and elephant sculptures with and without trunk, undisturbed.

Next we had planned to visit a really busy place, the famous Sri Chamundeshwari Temple. Today was the preferred weekly visiting day for Hindu in this temple, which is why many faithful had gathered. Besides the faithful, cows are omnipresent. And of course also the street vendors, who offer all kinds of gifts for the gods, were there.

RK5_0264

After the temple the next stop was Amba Vilas, the Maharaja Palace in Mysore. Mysore used to be the capital of the kingdom of the same name. The former ruler’s palace can be visited. Wow, that palace was big! Here I also met the elephants. Have a look!

RK5_0307RK5_0294

As our third destination in Mysore, we visited the Catholic Church. Yes, you can find that here too. Only about 3% of all Indians are Christians, but three percent of 1.2 billion is still a huge number! The decoration in the church reminded me a lot of the typical souvenirs that you can buy here on every corner. From inside the church there is only one photo because it was disliked to take pictures here.

RK5_0327RK5_0325

Afterwards we went back to Bangalore and had a long night’s sleep for the first time. But to come back was not as easy as it sounds. It took us 4 hours; the traffic, you know.

RK5_0322

On Sunday an Indian colleague of my human dad offered to give us an impression of life in Bangalore as a personal tourist guide. Many thanks for that! Our first destination on the tour through Bangalore was the ISKCON Sri Radha Krishna emple. While yesterday I was only an outside spectator, today we went inside and I could walk through the temple together with the believers. What an experience, for which every visitor should absolutely take the time.

20180610_122854

Everything begins with the obligatory removal of the shoes. Just like jackets in Europe, you hand it in at the cloakroom. The way into the temples interior to the main god worshipped here runs over many steps and thru some small other rooms in which even more gods are worshipped. The path there is made up by stone slabs and all visitors step on one after the other from one slab to the next along the whole way. The believing Hindus pray the same prayer verse on every plate, with which they worship the god of the temple. It takes some time to reach the main room. Inside there are figures of the god Krishna in his various incarnations. The faithful offer gifts to the god in the form of fruits and flowers. A priest mentions the names of the donors and mediates the offerings to the God. God blesses them and gives it back to them, now in the form of a divine gift for them. That is how I understood it at least. Taking pictures inside the temple is unfortunately forbidden, so that there are pictures only from the outside.

20180610_11493720180610_120223

After lunch in a very nice Indian restaurant we went to one of the typical shopping districts of the city. It is a whole part of the city, one shop besides the next. Everything can be bought here. Our companion has led us unerringly to one of the oldest, but precisely for this reason very good antique dealers, where there were really interesting little souvenirs to discover. As a bear, I could not help but buy some small gifts for my family at home.

Because of the needed time for the heavy traffic, the day in Bangalore was over faster than expected. But it does not matter; at least I have already seen a part of the city.

During the next days my human dad was then again every day in the office and whoosh, we have flown back home already. Finally I have one more interesting photo for you. Every morning, women sweep together the leaves and dust that have accumulated on the street in front of the office buildings. It is a completely different world than at home!

IMG_20180613_083851

Your very ferocious Grizzly

RK5_0273